About this topic
Summary Physicalism about the mind is the metaphysical view that all mental phenomena are ultimately physical phenomena, or necessitated by physical phenomena. There are various mental-physical relations proposed by physicalists to account for their claim. One relation is identity. Identity based physicalism about the mind takes two forms: token physicalism (which asserts that all token mental states are identical to a physical or neural state), and type physicalism (according to which all types of mental states are identical to types of physical or neural states). Another proposed relation is supervenience. Supervenience based physicalism about the mind is a form of type physicalism and it takes two main forms: a priori physicalism (the view that mental truths are a priori deducible from the totality of physical truths) and a posteriori physicalism (the view that mental truths are a posteriori or empirically necessitated by the totality of physical truths).
Key works Identity based physicalism was first proposed by Place 1956, Feigl 1958, and Smart 1959. Token identity based physicalism is taken to originate with Davidson 1963. Explicitly type identity based physicalist approaches are to be found in Lewis 1970 and in Armstrong 1968. An account of the distinction between a priori and a posteriori supervenience based physicalism is given in Chalmers 1996 and in Stoljar 2000. Particular a priori physicalist approaches are to be found in Dennett 1991Dretske 1995Lewis 1990Rey 1995. Particular a posteriroi physicalist approaches appear in Loar 1990Papineau 1993Tye 1995Hill 1997Balog 1999Block & Stalnaker 1999Balog 2012.
Introductions Stoljar 2001
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  1. Christian Materialism and Demonic Temptation.Matthew J. Hart - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):481–496.
    Demons have the power to cause temptations in us, and Christian materialism implies the supervenience of temptations on brain states. This in turn implies that demons bring about temptations by causally interfering with our brains. But if they have such an ability to affect the physical world, it is mysterious why they do not wreak more havoc than they do both to our brains and in the world more generally. Substance dualism provides an elegant solution: demonic temptation is not a (...)
  2. Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
  3. The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism.Jonathan J. Loose, Angus John Louis Menuge & J. P. Moreland - 2018 - Oxford, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
  4. O Livre-Arbítrio em John R. Searle: Uma Contraposição do Naturalismo Biológico ao Fisicalismo e ao Funcionalismo.Daniel P. Nunes - 2014 - Dissertation, UNIVERSIDADE DE CAXIAS DO SUL
    This dissertation aims to examine whether John Searle’s biological naturalism is a more viable alternative to current physicalist and functionalist positions in dealing with the issue of free will. Thus, my strategy is to identify the assumptions of these lines of thought and their philosophical consequences. In order to accomplish this goal the concept of intrinsic intentionality is taken as a guide. I begin by defining what is meant by free will and go on to broadly characterize physicalist and functionalist (...)
  5. Neural Correlates of Consciousness & the Nature of the Mind.Matthew Owen - 2019 - In Mihretu P. Guta (ed.), Consciousness and the Ontology of Properties. New York: Routledge. pp. 241-260.
    It is often thought that contemporary neuroscience provides strong evidence for physicalism that nullifies dualism. The principal data is neural correlates of consciousness (for brevity NCC). In this chapter I argue that NCC are neutral vis- à-vis physicalist and dualist views of the mind. First I clarify what NCC are and how neuroscientists identify them. Subsequently I discuss what NCC entail and highlight the need for philosophical argumentation in order to conclude that physicalism is true by appealing to NCC. Lastly, (...)
  6. The Conceptual Link From Physical to Mental by Robert Kirk. [REVIEW]D. Gene Witmer - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):552-556.
  7. The Natural Worlds of Robert Kirk: Fairies, Beasts, Landscapes and Lychnobious Liminalities.Lizanne Henderson - unknown
  8. Beyond Dualism and Monism: Bergson's Slanted Being.Messay Kebede - 2016 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 24 (2):106-130.
    There is an old but still unresolved debate pertaining to the question of Bergsonian monism or dualism. Scholars who think that Bergson is ultimately monist clash with those who claim that he has consistently maintained a dualist position. Others speak of contradiction and point out his failure to reconcile dualism with monism. What feeds on the debate is Bergson’s undeniable change of direction: while his first book is flagrantly dualist, his second book takes a sharp turn toward monism. Without denying (...)
  9. Physicalism and Neo-Lockeanism About Persons.Joungbin Lim - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1229-1240.
    The central objection to neo-Lockeanism about persons is the too many thinkers problem: NLP ends up with an absurd multiplication of thinkers. Sydney Shoemaker attempts to solve this problem by arguing that the person and the animal do not share all of the same physical properties. This, according to him, leads to the idea that mental properties are realized in the person’s physical properties only. The project of this paper is to reject Shoemaker’s physicalist solution to the too many thinkers (...)
  10. Davidson's Identity Crisis.Daniel D. Hum - 1998 - Dialectica 52 (1):45-61.
  11. A Reductive Physicalist Account of the Autonomy of Psychology.Orly R. Shenker - unknown
    The appearance of multiple realization of the special sciences kinds by physical kinds can be fully explained within a type-identity reductive physicalist framework, based on recent findings in the foundations of statistical mechanics. This has been shown in Hemmo and Shenker. However, while this account is available for special sciences like biology and thermodynamics, it is unavailable for psychology. Therefore the only coherent physicalist account of psychology is a type-type identity account. The so-called “non reductive” physicalism turns out to be (...)
  12. Adversary Metaphysics.George S. Pappas - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:571-585.
    Berkeley construes his own immaterialist philosophy as facing a serious competitor, namely, what he often termed ‘materialism.’ He tries on several grounds to eliminate materialism from the competition, thus leaving immaterialism as the most plausible metaphysical theory of perception and the external world. In this paper these grounds are explored, and it is found that Berkeley’s method for rational choice between materialism and immaterialism involves consideration of a host of criteria for choice between competitive theories.
  13. The Significance of Emergence.Tim Crane - 2001 - In Barry Loewer & Grant Gillett (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This paper is an attempt to understand the content of, and motivation for, a popular form of physicalism, which I call ‘non-reductive physicalism’. Non-reductive physicalism claims although the mind is physical (in some sense), mental properties are nonetheless not identical to (or reducible to) physical properties. This suggests that mental properties are, in earlier terminology, ‘emergent properties’ of physical entities. Yet many non-reductive physicalists have denied this. In what follows, I examine their denial, and I argue that on a plausible (...)
  14. Sensations: A Defense of Type Materialism.Frank Jackson & Christopher S. Hill - 1993 - Philosophical Review 102 (4):614.
  15. Physicalism.Geoffrey Hellman & K. V. Wilkes - 1980 - Philosophical Review 89 (4):625.
  16. In Contact With the Physical World.Robert A. Jaeger & John Pennycuick - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (4):534.
  17. The Nature of the Physical World.Arthur E. Murphy & A. S. Eddington - 1930 - Philosophical Review 39 (5):502.
  18. Functionalism, Superduperfunctionalism, and Physicalism: Lessons From Supervenience.Ronald Endicott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2205-2235.
    Philosophers almost universally believe that concepts of supervenience fail to satisfy the standards for physicalism because they offer mere property correlations that are left unexplained. They are thus compatible with non-physicalist accounts of those relations. Moreover, many philosophers not only prefer some kind of functional-role theory as a physically acceptable account of mind-body and other inter-level relations, but they use it as a form of “superdupervenience” to explain supervenience in a physically acceptable way. But I reject a central part of (...)
  19. Non-Reductive Physicalism and the Teleo-Pragmatic Theory of Mind.Robert Van Gulick - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):103-124.
  20. The Natures of Types and Tokens: On the Metaphysical Commitments of Non-Reductive Physicalism.Raphael van Riel - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
  21. Physicalism and the Evolution of Consciousness.Roland Puccetti - 1975 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (sup2):171-183.
  22. A Materialist's Misgivings About Eliminative Materialism.Jeffrey Foss - 1985 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15 (sup1):105-133.
  23. Materialism and the First Person.Geoffrey Madell - 2003 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 53:123-139.
    Here are some sentences from Fred Dretske's book Naturalising the Mind: For a materialist there are no facts that are accessible to only one person … If the subjective life of another being, what it is like to be that creature, seems inaccessible, this must be because we fail to understand what we are talking about when we talk about its subjective states. If S feels some way, and its feeling some way is a material state, how can it be (...)
  24. Eliminative Materialism and Propositional Attitudes.Paul M. Churchland - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):67-90.
  25. What to Do If You Want to Defend a Theory You Cannot Prove.Peter Achinstein - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):35-56.
  26. What's Wrong with Anomalous Monism?Norman Melchert - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):265.
  27. An Argument for the Identity Theory.David K. Lewis - 1966 - Journal of Philosophy 63 (1):17-25.
  28. After Materialism--What?H. T. C. & Richard Clifford Tute - 1945 - Journal of Philosophy 42 (15):418.
  29. A Contribution to Chjristian Materialism.John Allcock - 1970 - New Blackfriars 51 (607):560-571.
  30. Mental States, Natural Kinds and Psychophysical Laws.Colin McGinn & James Hopkins - 1978 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 52 (1):195-236.
  31. I–David Papineau.David Papineau - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):17-43.
  32. XII.—Dispensing With Mind.R. I. Aaron - 1952 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 52 (1):225-242.
  33. III.—The New Materialism.C. A. Richardson - 1921 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 21 (1):51-70.
  34. VI.—The Theory of Psycho-Physical Parallelism as a Working Hypothesis in Psychology.H. Wildon Carr - 1911 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 11 (1):129-143.
  35. II.—Physicalism.C. A. Mace - 1937 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 37 (1):23-40.
  36. IX—Wittgenstein and Physicalism.James Hopkins - 1975 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 75 (1):121-146.
  37. Can We Get Our Materialism Back, Please?Bruno Latour - 2007 - Isis 98 (1):138-142.
  38. The World of Physical ChemistryKeith J. Laidler.Alexi Assmus - 1996 - Isis 87 (1):197-198.
  39. The Physical World of the Greeks. S. Sambursky, Merton DagutThe Physical World of Late Antiquity. S. SamburskyThe Physics of the Stoics. S. Sambursky. [REVIEW]J. T. Vallance - 1989 - Isis 80 (2):307-308.
  40. Invisible Colleges: Diffusion of Knowledge in Scientific Communities. Diana Crane.P. David Vachon - 1973 - Isis 64 (3):401-402.
  41. The Physical World of Late AntiquityS. Sambursky.I. E. Drabkin - 1964 - Isis 55 (3):385-386.
  42. The Physical World of the GreeksS. Sambursky.Charles C. Gillispie - 1958 - Isis 49 (3):356-358.
  43. Comments on Rozeboom's Criticism of "On the Possible Psychophysical Laws.".Duncan R. Luce - 1962 - Psychological Review 69 (6):548-551.
  44. What is a Physical Fact?Edward Thorndike - 1898 - Psychological Review 5 (6):645-650.
  45. Microphysical Causation and the Case for Physicalism.Alyssa Ney - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):141-164.
    Physicalism is sometimes portrayed by its critics as a dogma, but there is an empirical argument for the position, one based on the accumulation of diverse microphysical causal explanations in physics, chemistry, and physiology. The canonical statement of this argument was presented in 2001 by David Papineau. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate a tension that arises between this way of understanding the empirical case for physicalism and a view that is becoming practically a received position in philosophy (...)
  46. Hidden Nature Physicalism.William Robinson - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):71-89.
    Hidden nature physicalists hold that an experiential quality and its hidden nature are the same property – even though they agree that our experiences are of experiential qualities but are not, in the same sense, experiences of their hidden natures. This paper argues that physicalists must be committed to ultimately giving accounts that involve no non-extensional relations, and that this commitment leads to an inability to explain how our experiences could be of experiential qualities, but not of their hidden natures.
  47. Self-Referentiality and Two Arguments Refuting Physicalism.Amihud Gilead - 2015 - International Philosophical Quarterly 55 (4):471-477.
  48. Phenomenalism in Epistemology and Physicalism in Aesthetics.Jacques Morizot - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 15 (3):439-452.
    The starting point of this paper is the intriguing observation that Goodman has defended a phenomenalist point of view in his epistemological works and a physicalist one in aesthetics. In fact, it would certainly be more accurate to say that his focus was anti-physicalist in epistemology and anti phenomenalist in aesthetics. In any case a majority of interpreters would spontaneously have waited for a diametrically opposite choice, more consistent indeed with the positions taken by the representatives in these fields. Yet (...)
  49. Rule-Following, Intentionality and Non-Reductive Physicalism.Antti Heikinheimo - 2011 - SATS 12 (1).
  50. Nagel's Case Against Physicalism.Pär Sundström - 2002 - SATS 3 (2).
    This paper is an attempt to understand and assess Thomas Nagel's influential case against physicalism in the philosophy of mind. I show that Nagel has claimed that experience is "subjective", or "essentially connected with a single point of view" in at least three different senses: first, in the sense that it is essential to every experience that there be something it is like to have it; second, in the sense that what an experience is like for its possessor cannot be (...)
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